Ang Ah Tee
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Ang Ah Tee (b. 1943, Singapore - ) is a veteran artist known for his acrylic, watercolour and oil paintings. From 1976 to 2006, he managed to complete 2,600 paintings, a remarkable feat for an artist. His most renowned works include "Kashmir" (1994), "Shanghai" (1994) and "First Day of Summer" (1996). He travels extensively to derive inspiration and his paintings are often products of thorough research and intensive thought processes. His landscape paintings are widely sought after by collectors in the region.
When Ang realised that formal education could not satisfy his desire to learn more about art, he decided to attend formal school in the morning and art class in the afternoon. From 1960 to 1962, he received his art education at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in Singapore. He always placed greater emphasis on his art education than on his academic schooling. However, despite completing art training in 1962, he did not make art his sole profession until 1977.
As a pragmatist, Ang believed that in order to be a professional artist in Singapore, he had to produce paintings that were commercially viable. He therefore began to make the Singapore River and Chinatown the subjects of his paintings. He dabbled in both watercolour and oil and was able to merge his pragmatic economic instincts with a keen sense of aesthetics. He also subscribed to a distinctive painting strategy inspired by English painter William Turner, whereby he would isolate the landmark, record it in sketches on location, then develop it into a painting in the studio.
In 1976, having painted all the prominent local landmarks, Ang embarked on a painting trip to Bali, Indonesia, which proved to be a catalyst for his creativity. The lush Balinese landscape greatly contrasted that of Singapore and prompted him to explore other sites of Asia. He went to Malacca (Malaysia), Bangkok (Thailand), Delhi (India), Hong Kong and many other cities to derive inspiration for his paintings.
In 1978, he made a complete switch from watercolour and oil to acrylic, which he considered to be a better medium for his artwork. Acrylic has allowed him to obtain both the transparency of watercolour and the texture of oil. As a result, his later paintings often display rich hues framed by an effusive glow. The scale of his paintings has also shifted from intimate proportions to wider contexts.
Over the years, Ang's concept of the landmark has evolved. While it has remained the focal point of his art, he has extended his definition of it to include cityscape, townscape, villagescape and even typical shop fronts, thus blending together the historical, social and cultural aspects of his subjects.
Ang travels widely to collect materials for his art. He prefers on-site painting as it allows him the immediacy to capture on canvas the seemingly trivial but inspirational details that are often overlooked in everyday life.
In 1981, after gaining critical recognition for his works, he launched an ambitious tour across Europe to paint the diverse landmarks of the continent. He went to London, England and Paris, France, the Italian cities of Rome and Venice, as well as Germany, Denmark and Spain. Subsequently, he visited Egypt, Nepal, Kashmir, China and Australia.
1980 : Singapore Landscapes, Mandarin Hotel, Singapore.
1982 : Recent Paintings, Ming Court Hotel (now Orchard Parade Hotel), Singapore.
1984 : Travelling Landscapes, Ming Court Hotel, Singapore.
1985 : My Recent Journey, Goodwood Park Hotel, Singapore.
1988 : Old Places of the World, Hyatt Hotel, Singapore.
1993 : Singapore Artist Directory Exhibition, Empress Place Museum, Singapore.
1993 : The Next Step, Shenn's Gallery, Singapore.
1997 : New Destinations: Recent Works in Oil by Ang Ah Tee, Shenn's Gallery, Singapore.
2006 : The Oviato Collection of Ang Ah Tee's Paintings, Oviato Art Gallery, Singapore.
2010 : Ang Ah Tee: Fascinating Visions, NAFA Galleries 1 & 2, Singapore.
1974 : Two-Man Show, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Singapore.
1974 : Bali Tour Art Exhibition, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Singapore.
1977 : Jubilee Art Exhibition for Queen Elizabeth II, London, England.
1979 : Joint Art Exhibition, Hilton Hotel, Bahrain, and Sheraton Hotel, Dubai.
1979 : Guest participant in the 1st Southeast Asia & Pacific Congress of Clinical Biochemistry, Mandarin Hotel, Singapore.
1980 : Joint Art Exhibition, Convention Hall, Tel Aviv, Israel.
1980 : "Contemporary Singapore Paintings", 5th Festival of Asian Arts, City Hall, Hong Kong.
1984 : Joint Singapore Artists Art Exhibition, Panaga Club, Negara Brunei Darussalam.
1986 : Singapore Art Society Joint Art Exhibition.
1987 : Joint Art Exhibition in Aid of National Kidney Foundation, Dynasty Hotel (now Marriott Hotel), Singapore.
1987 : International Teochew Artists' Art Exhibition, Raffles City, Singapore.
1988 : "Asian Watercolours", 3rd Exhibition of the Asian Watercolour Confederation, Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
1989 : 1st Bru-Sin Art Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Negara Brunei Darussalam.
1989 : New York Art Expo Singapore Preview Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1989 : Twenty Singapore Artists for New York Art Expo, Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre, New York, United States.
1990 : Singapore Artists Speak Art Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1991 : 2nd Bru-Sin Art Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1991 : "Change", 20 Singapore Artists Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
2005 : Works of Singapore Artists - Ang Ah Tee, Tan Choh Tee, Leo Hee Tong & Chan Chang How, Oviato Art Gallery, Singapore.
2006 : Important Second-Generation Artists Series, DLR Gallery, Singapore.
1974 : Prize winner in the Port of Singapore Authority Open Art Competition.
1978 : National Day Art Award, Singapore.
2009 : Cultural Medallion, Singapore.
Ang and his wife Adeline have one son, a photographer.
Nurhaizatul Jamila Jamil
Choy, W. Y. (1997). New destinations: An introduction. In A. T. Ang, New destinations: Recent works in oil by Ang Ah Tee, Oct-Nov 1997. Singapore: Shenn's Fine Art.
(Call no.: RSING 759.95957 ANG)
DLR Gallery. (2005). Artists. Retrieved January 11, 2009, from http://www.dlrgallery.com/artists/artists.html#atang
Koh, B. S. (Ed.). (1993). Singapore: Places, poems, paintings (pp. 202-203). Singapore: Art and Artist Speak.
(Call no.: RSING 700.95957 SIN)
Oviato Art Gallery. (2007). Exhibitions. Retrieved January 11, 2009, from http://www.oviato.com/exhibitions.asp
Tay, S. C. (2009, October 17). Medallion heroes. The Straits Times. Retrieved April 13, 2010, from Factiva database.
What’s up this week ... (2010, April 9). The Straits Times. Retrieved April 13, 2010, from Factiva database.
Ang Ah Tee [Ephemera].
(Call no.: RCLOS EPHE P31 V1.1)
Ang, A. T. (2006). Inspired journeys. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RSING 759.95957 ANG)
Ang. A. T. (1993). The next step: Recent works 1990-1993. Singapore: Shenn's Gallery.
(Call no.: RSING 759.95957 ANG)
National Kidney Foundation presents an art exhibition by 5 prominent local artists: Ong Kim Seng, Wan Soon Kam, Ang Ah Tee, Tan Swie Hian, Sandy Teng [Poster]. (1987). Singapore: [s.n.].
(Call no.: RCLOS 759.95957 NAT)
The information in this article is valid as at 2010 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.